Sterling Cup – Day 3

WELLINGTON, FL, February 5, 2021— On Sunday, La Indiana will meet Scone to decide who takes the Sterling Cup title for 2021. La Indiana earned their place in the final after defeating Casablanca by 14-10 on January 29th, while Scone scored a 13-9 victory over Santa Rita on January 30th.

The Sterling Cup continued Wednesday for 5thand 6thplace with Casablanca defeating Aspen Valley by 13-10 while Santa Rita triumphed over Great Oaks 10-6. On what was an unseasonably cold day for South Florida, Casablanca (Hope Arellano, Grant Ganzi, Juan Martin Nero and Juan Martin Zubia) met Aspen Valley (Gussie Busch, Horacio Heguy, Clemente Zaveleta, and Pablo Spinacci) at Jan Pamelia as the action continued in the 22-goal Sterling Cup. Aspen Valley, a 20-goal team, started the match with two goals on handicap.

Juan Martian Zubia started the match off on the right foot for Casablanca, scoring two goals in the first chukker while Aspen Valley struggled to get on the board. At two minutes into the second chukker of play, Grant Ganzi found the goalposts for Casablanca. Just under 60 seconds later, Juan Martin Nero picked up the ball and fired it to Arellano, who anticipated the pass and thundered downfield in a tremendous play that belied her one-goal handicap and demonstrated that she’s a player to watch. With two minutes left in the chukker, Gussie Busch finally put the first goal of the day on the board for Aspen Valley.

In chukker 3, Pablo Spinacci and Clemente Zaveleta scored for Aspen Valley, while Zubia converted a Penalty 5, the only penalty in the first half of the match. The first half ended with the score tied at 5-all.
Early in the fourth chukker, a goal by Horacio Heguy at the 5:43 mark put Aspen Valley in the lead for the first time in the match. Grant Ganzi scored to tie it up again at 6-6, with Zubia following up to wrest the lead back from Aspen Valley. Shortly into play in the fifth chukker, Hope Arellano upped Casablanca’s lead to two goals. Following a goal by teammate Pablo Spinacci, Horacio Heguy made a spectacular shot from an angle just inside the 60-yard line to draw even with Casablanca once again, but Juan Martin Zubia scored to end the chukker with Casablanca leading 9-8.

Maybe it was the cold, but Aspen Valley seemed to lose steam in the final chukker and couldn’t find the goal once. Casablanca, in an impressive final push, chalked up four unanswered goals to win the match 13-8. Juan Martin Zubia was the high scoring player of the day, with 7 goals to his credit.

In the second match of the day, Santa Rita (Riley Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Juan Bollini) met Great Oaks (Dillon Bacon, Torito Ruiz, Facu Llorente and Gonzalo Garcia del Rio). Santa Rita, fielding a 20-goal team, started the match with one goal on handicap.

The match started off with a wide open first chukker, with both teams running nonstop for four minutes until the first whistle. The relentless pace continued in the second chukker, and Nic Roldan drew first blood by slamming the ball downfield and finishing up with a 40-yard cut shot to goal. Both teams began to score in the third, and Toro Ruiz scored back-to-back goals to put Great Oaks briefly into the lead. Nic Roldan answered with two back-to-back goals of his own, putting Santa Rita back into the lead by 4-2. Dillon Bacon successfully converted a Penalty Three to end the half 4-3 with Santa Rita in the lead.

In more the open, running play that characterized this match, Great Oaks managed to. frustrate Santa Rita in the fourth chukker. Toro Ruiz found the goal at just under two minutes to tie things up, and with 50 seconds left in the chukker Dillon Bacon scored to put Great Oaks in the lead.

At the beginning of the fifth period, Riley Ganzi capitalized. on a great run downfield and put the ball between the posts to tie the score once again. Goals by Nic Roldan and Alejandro Novillo Astrada put Santa Rita back in the lead, and a final conversion on a Penalty Three by Roldan ended the chukker 8-5 for Santa Rita.

In the final chukker, Gonzalo del Rio scored with 3:41 left to play, but 40 seconds later Ganzi found herself with an opportunity just inside 60 yards and fired a successful shot on goal. Nic Roldan scored a final goal for good measure, and Santa Rita prevailed by a score of 10-6. Roldan was the high scoring player of the day with 6 goals.